This column is a revitalized weekly addition to the paper. The following moments in history are selected, researched, and edited by Skaneateles High School students enrolled in Kate Hardy’s 10th grade Honors English class. For the next school year they hope to celebrate the past and remember the days from years ago. Thank you to the Skaneateles Library and the Historical Society for providing the Press archives.
20 Years Ago
… the Skaneateles Press published an article boasting about the benefits to having a wireless phone around the holiday season. It explains that a cell phone can be used to check on your children, call a taxi, or call to check a store’s hours. Nowadays, a cell phone can be used to keep in contact with loved ones across the globe, as a GPS, or to do Christmas shopping online. Because the cell phone has so many more uses than it did in 1998, it has created a sort of dependence on the device. For example, teenagers and adults alike fear misplacement of their cell phones, and if they are unable to find their phones, it causes panic. One thing that has not changed, however, is how a cell phone can remove some of the stress associated with the holiday season.
40 Years Ago
An advertisement in the press publicized information regarding Christmas Eve related services in both Skaneateles and Marcellus, such as candle lighting and caroling. Community activities like these are typical throughout the nation during the holiday season. According to editor and author, James Cooper, the candles lit during these ceremonies represent the light of Jesus in the Christian religion as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. Many churches in Skaneateles today continue to participate in Christmas Eve mass and candle lighting services, such as Grace Hope Chapel, First Presbyterian Church, and St Mary’s Church. The First Presbyterian Church in particular, recently had a mass concerning the true meaning behind the traditional Christmas decorations such as holly with the berries symbolizing the blood of Christ as well as the evergreen trees which represent everlasting life through their unchanging appearance throughout the seasons. These outlooks on the customary Christmas ornamentations give us, the community, a new perspective on the holiday season.
60 Years Ago
…The Skaneateles Press published an advertisement for W.C. Crosman & Son Jewelers in Auburn. The ad displayed two variants of a diamond engagement ring: an emerald-cut diamond ring for $1000 and a marquise-cut diamond ring for $1100. Although these prices may not seem like much for an engagement ring, they were actually above average for the time. Since the time of this ad’s publishing in 1958, the price of engagement rings has drastically increased. According to Huffingtonpost.com, the average price for an engagement ring is $5,871 in 2018. The holiday season is a very popular time to buy engagement rings and many jewelry stores have them on sale. You can buy a massive variety of engagement rings sold locally at Skaneateles Jewelry, for prices ranging from $1350-$9990. The store is located in the village of Skaneateles at 15 Jordan St. and is open 10 to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 to 5 p.m.on Sundays, and 10 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Stop in and check out their holiday selection of rings and other jewelry for gifts this holiday season.
80 Years Ago
… the Skaneateles Press reported on the suicide of an adolescent local in Skaneateles. Although tragic and sad, this phenomenon is an increasing concern among teenagers today. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, teen suicide rates for the ages 15 to 19 have increased by 31 percent from 2007 to 2015 and continue to rise in the United States. As the third leading cause of adolescent death, suicide is possibly attributed to mental illness, academic stress and social media. Only recently, cyberbullying has become an issue where bullies can hide behind a screen as well as leave the environment of a school, making it easier for teens to become victims or instigators of bullying.
100 Years Ago
Christmas has always been an important tradition in American culture. Since the country’s beginnings, Americans have exchanged gifts as part of the holiday season celebrations. While the tradition persists, the gifts exchanged have changed in the hundred years since this ad was published. In 1918, The Dusenbury Company advertised its selection of current shoe styles, including ‘rubbers’, ‘evening slippers’, ‘spats’, ‘four buckle arctics’, and ‘cloth rubbers’. Nowadays, some of the most popular shoes bought as Christmas gifts are ‘Adidas Ultraboost’, ‘Air Jordans’, ‘Nike Vapor Max’, ‘Gucci Ace Sneakers’ (according to esquire.com). All of the modern shoes are significantly different in style from those of the early 1900s and they’re all priced much higher (adjusted for inflation). These trends reflect the increasing commercialization of Christmas since the early 1900s.